Tag Archive for auto transport business

Auto Transport Broker Parties and Drops Two Pants Sizes

 

.(Before December 2010)

Confessions of an auto transport broker

I have a confession to make to all of you. There is something I have not shared with you while coaching many of you to run successful auto transport brokerages. This little, well…BIG confession is something no one told me. Frankly, it never crossed my mind to share it with anyone either. It is very personal and some of you may not want to hear my story. That is okay, I understand. I used to be in your shoes and was not ready to hear this either.

However, for those of you who want to know the ugly truth about what being an auto transport broker can do to you. Read on.

Have you ever taken a family vacation and upon downloading the photos, you realize there are no pictures of you? Just trying to find this picture of me was like trying to find a needle in a haystack. That is my virtual assistant, Tiffany Johnson from Virtual Hired Hand in the picture beside me. By the way, to set the record straight I am drinking ginger ale in this picture. I am not a teetotaler, but I was not feeling the best that evening.

That is right. I am the photographer in our family and for good reason. I do not like how I look in pictures. In the past six plus years of working from home, I slipped into some unhealthy habits. One of these habits set the stage and my body for a 50+ pound weight gain. Bet no one ever told you that could happen from working at home.

The ugly culprit that started it all

As you recall from an earlier post my day in the office starts when the first phone call comes in. Hopping out of bed and running down the hallway to grab the phone does not set my day up to be successful in the eating arena. Once I boot up the computer and the phones start ringing there is no turning back. 

Normally, there is time later to grab a quick cup of coffee in between calls. However, every single time I ever tried to slip out of the office to grab a bite to eat, the phone would ring. Rather than let a potential customer get away I would turn around and answer the phone.

In spite of taking good vitamins and supplements come afternoon my butt was dragging. I was not sleeping well at night, my skin started looking haggard and I just plain old did not feel up to par. Funny thing was I could not figure it out. Then, almost overnight, my clothes did not fit. My commute, the whole ten feet of it, became a chore. By the time I opened the door and sat down to turn on the computer, I was winded.

Have you ever known what the problem was but found yourself in complete and utter denial? I have always struggled with my weight, my whole life. Following my mom and sisters, I have tried diet after diet, pill after pill. What was the result? I gained more weight, felt worse and like most others I know…gave up and settled.

I had convinced myself that the way I look, the weight I am at all came with being a grandma. Is that crazy or what? What do those darling little angels have to do with the ugly, chicken fat hiding under this skin I have hidden beneath these clothes? Enough was enough; I had to do something but what?

It all started with one little yellow caplet

Three months ago a friend introduced me to a new product. Many of you know I have been with a nutritional supplement company for a long time, fourteen years. Being very loyal to both the executives and products, I was not open to new ones. However, my husband wanted this new one so we bought it.

I started using it too. I am not one to loose out on anything. What happened? First, I started sleeping really well. After a few weeks, I noticed my energy level was up and the endurance was incredible. I still was not eating though and found I had highs and lows through out the day.

My skin improved and I lost a few pounds. That was encouraging so I continued. Serving our auto transport clients seemed easier. It certainly was not making any sense, how could a little yellow pill make shipping cars easier?

One day while handling a particularly angry customer, I figured out how that little caplet was helping…I was on an even keel. No mood swings, no anxiety. My heart was not racing as my frustration with the situation mounted. Amazingly, no tears fell from my eyes, no deep breathing and it just went so smooth.

Friends who share make a difference

The final piece of the puzzle came together when a business associate and I had the chance to sit and visit while in Chicago at a seminar. Renee explained to me that my glycemic level may be unbalanced and that is why I had highs and lows, no energy and was gaining weight. She made sense but it sounded excessively hard for someone like me to do.

What I found was a simple secret weapon diet that even I could use. Because I needed something easy, the grab and go, snacks worked perfectly for me. The amazing part is that I love it. It is simple, tastes awesome, and I am not hungry! I know that sounds weird, but for me never eating, I was hungry and ignored the pangs. Now my body knows a regular little snack is coming and all is well.

Every two hours I grab my snack and enjoy it with coffee or water. Guess what the amazing news is? In just under two weeks of using this secret weapon, I have lost two jean sizes. Not only that, but I crossed over from the Women's sizes to Misses sizes. I think that counts as more sizes lost, right? lol

Even auto transport brokers must eat

The moral to my story is this. Since I have started taking time for me and designing the life I thought I was designing I have more energy. Deep, sound sleep allows my body to rest, recuperate from the daily stresses running a full time business puts on it. Learning how to eat and use the secret weapon I found helped me to lose more than two sizes in less than two weeks all while eating delicious food and feeling the best I have felt in years.

Remember, YOU design your life. When starting your auto transport business make a schedule. Set the kitchen timer if need be, eat every two to three hours a small grab and go snack for endurance you will need to run a profitable auto transport business like I do.

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Here to Serve,
Carla J Gardiner
 
Head shot 3scarf cropped 150x150 Weekend Trip Ends At Beach AccessCarla J Gardiner is an ex-banker turned entrepreneur who built an auto transport brokerage and dispatch center from the ground up. With half a days training and little else Carla learned the business inside and out the hard way…by doing it. Her passion and purpose lies with the people she works with daily; the client, dispatcher, broker and truck driver. Her frustration within the industry has birthed a new division of her company; one to properly train, encourage and mentor other professionals in auto transport.
 
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Your Ideal Auto Transport Client, The Rewards of Listening

 

Your ideal auto transport client, the rewards of listening

You are so lucky

Today was a day of reflection for me. Looking back over the past year and a half my life looks very different today than it did then. Our auto transport business is thriving when others have closed their doors. Our part time health business is growing and the excitement is mounting as others achieve their dreams and goals, too. Was it so for either business last year? No.

Some may say we are lucky. Trust me luck has nothing to do with it. Hard work, perseverance and determination are the reason we are still in business today.

Why is it that we always want everything now? Who taught us that we are entitled to have what someone else has and not have to work for it? I used to think just like that, too. My desperation to make money overshadowed my desire to serve others. Once I learned that my focus was unbalanced, my learning process began to compound and make sense. The pieces of the puzzle started to fit together.

Chatting with a good friend the other day our conversation turned to just that thought. Both of our businesses are growing, we are beginning to earn a good income. That was not the case when we started though. What changed, what made the difference in our businesses between last year and today?

We both figured it out. What did we figure out? The rewards of listening to your ideal client will make your business a success. When you do not listen to what the market wants it will break you.

When you combine that one gold nugget with the "how to" of putting a business together online you will find your answer. What we figured out is that it takes each business owner a different amount of work and time to reach results.

Can someone else do the work for you? NO!!! For long-term success we all must learn the "how to" ourselves. We must put in the time, pay the piper ourselves in order to reap the rewards waiting in the shadows for us.

Figuring out what they want

When I first started our auto transport broker business, I knew nothing about the industry at all. The lingo in the auto transport industry is different. Some of the titles for jobs seemed to overlap it was so confusing. It would have been much easier had I known of someone who could coach me and show me the ropes.

However, the broker who sponsored me (provided the information to get started) did not have my best interest at heart. Her focus was unbalanced as well, centered purely on money. Coming from a banking background, I was naive to the dealings of the outside business world. My first year in business was like a Hollywood movie in the making. Several hours training and then tossed to the wolves. Now it was sink or swim.

The same went for our health networking business. Sure there was training, "Do it this way, say this, act like this, be like me and you will succeed". The problem was I did not have a personality like theirs. My goals and passion was different, I was not like them. Try as I might to conform to their methods it did not work for me. Later I would figure out that duplicating the system is what would work, not duplicating them.

Jigsaw puzzle

In both our auto transport and health businesses, we found similarities. Building a business is like putting a jigsaw puzzle together. Starting with the basics like giving our customers a free quote. That seemed simple enough, yet the sales did not come. What were we doing wrong?

Later we found that calculating the free quote was an art. Specific key elements comprised the perfect auto transport quote and this resulted in a sale, our first. Finding an auto transport carrier to transport that customer's car was like the next piece of the puzzle. Again, there were specific measures we needed to take to cover our business as well as the customer's car. Now that puzzle started making sense.

Finally, after fourteen years in network marketing the puzzle pieces became clear. The missing piece to success was not in the puzzle at all. I was the piece of the puzzle that needed to be refined. Our ideal client did not want what we were offering. Aha! That is why there were no sales.

Just like in our brokering business, some and not others desire the health business. By leaning in, listening to what others wanted instead of being so bull headed and narrow-minded, I heard what they were saying. I realized that the inner student within me was ready to learn.

It all takes time

What do auto transport, health and jigsaw puzzles have in common? They all take time to learn. In business, there are options available sometimes that can take the learning curve and toss it on its ear. By taking advantage of those options, like a business coach or trainer, you can shave years off the time it will take you to learn the intricate details. This can set your business up for faster success and bigger profits. It can also save you precious time and valuable assets allowing you to avoid the traps and pitfalls already experienced by those who have gone before you.

What my friend and I discovered in our conversation is this. We never thought a year and a half ago that we would be where we are today in business. The one thing we both learned and put into action was to listen to our ideal client and give them what they want. We learned it is not about us and our wants and desires. When we help others get what they want, serve with a pure and honest heart, our desires and goals happen because we helped someone else.

So, if you have a desire to build a business, whether it is in auto transport or a health business, lean in, listen to your ideal client. Decide to work with a business coach, avoid the pitfalls and traps waiting in the shadows for you. Set your business up for success and your hearts desire will come true, too.

We need your help! We can't do what we do without you. Please leave your comment below and join the discussion. Do me a favor? Share this with your FaceBook friends by clicking the "Like" button at the top of the page. Your Twitter friends won't want to miss out, be sure to "re-tweet", too. Thanks, you are the best.

Here to Serve,
Carla J Gardiner
 
Carla J Gardiner is an ex-banker turned entrepreneur who built an auto transport brokerage and dispatch center from the ground up. With half a days training and little else Carla learned the business inside and out the hard way…by doing it. Her passion and purpose lies with the people she works with daily; the client, dispatcher, broker and truck driver. Her frustration within the industry has birthed a new division of her company; one to properly train, encourage and mentor other professionals in healthy auto transport.
 
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New Auto Transport Business or Business As Usual

New Auto Transport Business or Business As Usual

Facing our fear head on

Over the past six years or so of building our auto transport business, I have spoken with thousands of prospects on the phone. Each day brings new types of people into my life in one way or another.

Having always worked in customer service talking with people over the phone is nothing new. Except today was different, we hosted a conference call and I was the guest speaker. That was different; I was scared out of my wits.

My stomach tied in knots. I was weepy all day long for no apparent reason. Answering many phone calls, my normal tone and service came through just fine. What was the matter with me?

Paralyzed with fear it hit me. This fear was about how this conference call would turn out. Would I give them what they wanted? I wondered if they would like me as a person? Where did these doubts come from? Do you suppose it is resistance?

Finally, my coach's voice rose up from the recesses of my brain. Sandi emphasizes that we need to FOCUS! It is NOT about YOU.

She was right; this conference call is about helping those that have reached out in desperation. They want to get their most pressing questions answered about auto transport brokering. They want what I did not get; they want to be sure, they are making the right choice in business before jumping off that bridge.

All right, it was time. It was time to call the number and begin. (Deep breath)

Time flies by when you are prepared

As my fingers dialed the phone, well actually punched the keys (can you tell I am still shaking and old school) I fumbled to find the right number. Instant Tele-seminar emailed me the link, why can I not find it now.

Setting my Outlook Calendar to remind me of the time, I checked it regularly. Regardless if a client calls came in, I did not want to answer and get tied up only to be late to my own call. That part of my day went very well.

It was 3:30 PM, thirty minutes before the call began and there is a knock at the door. Who could it be the UPS deliveryman? Maybe it is someone unfamiliar with our area and they need directions.

No, it is neither. It is my mom who lives next door. She has pictures of my great-nephew to give to me. Adorable as they are and appreciative as I am it interrupted my schedule. The meditation I had done earlier flew out the window. These types of interruptions happen all the time while working from a home office.

It was a nice break to get my mind off the butterflies multiplying in my stomach. The nervous reaction of tears falling concerned her. The oldest of her children, I am the strong one and tears are rare to be seen falling down my cheeks. I explained what I was doing and why.

She smiled and said, "It is no different than standing in the front of the room giving a demonstration like you did in 4-H. isn't it the same as giving a business presentation for your vitamin company? You will do just fine. Take a deep breath and start". With a hug and a kiss on the cheek out the door, she went leaving me to face my fear.

There will always be firsts

The crackle of the phone line indicated I was in. As I said hello others responded in kind. Fumbling to find the right control in the seminar control panel, we chatted to break the ice. Callers introduced themselves and mentioned what state they were calling from.

After introductions, I told them we would be recording this call. Go to a quiet place and grab a piece of paper and pen because there was a ton of information to cover all within an hour. With the recording started, lecture mode chosen I started with my personal story.

Ten minutes into the call something made me question if the recording was right. Clicking back into group call, I asked if they had heard anything, I had said. Across the board the answer was NO. Great, now what would I do?

My instant reaction was laughter. Actually, it was more of a very nervous giggle, but I hoped that they could understand. Within minutes, we continued the call in a group setting asking them to hold all questions to the end.

Finally, on a roll, my throat started to get dry. Thanks to my coach, sharing that she always had peppermint water sitting by her phone when she talked to keep her voice crisp and clear. Yes, it worked.

As anything we do for the first time, it went so-so. Doing my best to control the perfectionist in me I patted myself on the back and said well done. I know that the next call will be better. Each time we overcome our fear and conquer it, we become stronger and more confident.

The same will happen for our coaching students who were on that call. Once they make the decision to go for it, the rest will get easier. There will always be a first for everything, one first client, one first booking, and one first phone call. I still remember the first dispatch call that secured the first dollar our auto transport business made.

By facing my fear of speaking to those interested in becoming an auto transport broker on the call another level of confidence rose within me. The next call will be easier, more relaxed and hopefully my technical skills will improve, too.

We need your help! If you have gained insight with any business tips, life lessons or plain old good stories, drop a short post to your Facebook friends; better yet, use the share buttons at the top of this page. You can bet they will enjoy and thank you, too!wink smile Weekend Trip Ends At Beach Access

 
Oh, by the way…share your thoughts below…
 
Here to Serve,
Carla J Gardiner
 
Head shot 3scarf cropped 150x150 Weekend Trip Ends At Beach AccessCarla J Gardiner is an ex-banker turned entrepreneur who built an auto transport brokerage and dispatch center from the ground up. With half a days training and little else Carla learned the business inside and out the hard way…by doing it. Her passion and purpose lies with the people she works with daily; the client, dispatcher, broker and truck driver. Her frustration within the industry has birthed a new division of her company; one to properly train, encourage and mentor other professionals in auto transport.
 
What did you think?
 
Let us know your thoughts on today's article.
 
Post your comments below.
 
remember, sharing is caring…



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Auto Transport Broker Prepared by Cancelled Flights Due to Blizzard

 

Auto Transport Broker Prepared by Cancelled Flights Due to Blizzard
 
Turbulence and football

Out of a deep sleep, the captain advising us to return to our seats and buckle up awakened this auto transport broker and family. We were entering a very large pocket of weather with extreme turbulence. The flight attendants assisted those who were not so steady on their feet back to their seats. This part of the trip freaked my husband and son out. What would they do if the plane crashed? They are not great travelers anyway, but to reassure them I told them we would be fine. The crew flew through all kinds of weather and this was no different.

The turbulence was a major blizzard. After the plane landed in Philadelphia, it took awhile to get to the gate. Looking out the window snow and ice was everywhere; our auto transport broker business was the last thing on our minds. There were very few signs of activity, which should have been a clue. Not traveling internationally much, we were clueless about the signs around us.

As we got off the plane, we walked to the customs clearing area. Everything went fine this time through; luggage in tow we left the area. As we made our way to find something to eat, we stopped at one of the boards to find our connection and gate. It was that very moment that we realized something was not right at all. The airport had CANCELLED all flights, in and out for the night.

Now what were we to do?

 
Okay, first we needed food. Walking the terminals there was not one establishment open. What was the deal? Finally, we found a security guard and asked what was happening. He was happy to help us, his customer service superb although his answer was not what we wanted to hear. The airport was operating on a bare bones crew due to the snowstorm; no one could get in to work.

We decided to get a hotel room and just order room service. If I believed in luck, which I do not, we did not have any. It happened to be the one weekend for the Philadelphia Eagles to be at home in a play-off game. All hotels/motels were booked solid for miles. With no rooms available, we settled for the Mylar blankets and found a spot in the indoor walkway that crossed the road below.

The only food establishments were inside the security area or outside the airport. We had our luggage, there were no employees at security, and we were not able to get inside without going through security first. Finally, we crossed the street and found an outside restaurant. There was a two-hour wait for a table. At that point in time, we did not care how long we had to wait. At least it was warm inside and we knew warm food was to come.

It was finally our turn to enter the restaurant to enjoy hot coffee and a warm meal. All three of us savored every bite. It had been a very long flight, a long day and we just wanted some nourishment. After our hot meal, we ordered more coffee to enable our stay inside the establishment. Pushing the limit, we finally left and returned to our piece of airport real estate. We had never been so tired, cold or frightened.

Morning humbled even the best of travelers

I am not sure any of us really slept that night. The blankets might have been warm on top, but the freezing air from the frigid temperatures outdoors encircled the walkway beneath our butts below. Then there was the fear of those wandering around all night might swipe our luggage. I now know that was silly, but hey it was our first time being stuck in an airport overnight because of a storm.

We heard other passengers talking about getting in line to rebook their connections that morning. Quickly I took my place in line. After two hours standing and creeping up, the announcement came over the loud speaker. The ATC stopped all plane activity ~ in and out again.

Shrinking back to where my husband and son sat I had to break the news. We were not going anywhere anytime soon. Later I decided to try my cell phone and try to book seats out for us. This time it worked, we would be able to board in less than an hour.
 

As we neared our gate, a familiar message blinked on the flight board ~ all reservations, in and out ~ DUE TO STORM nixed. This was so frustrating. Now the vision of frantic passengers trying to get home during the holidays came to mind.

Remembering how I reacted to their frustrations while sitting at home on my warm, soft sofa in front of the radiating heat of the stove made me sick to my stomach. Now I knew what they had gone through. We were living the experiences of the angry travelers with rescheduled flights. I vowed I would never again judge how they were acting in such a situation.

It would take two more bookings on that airline and twenty four more hours before we successfully boarded our plane headed for San Francisco and then on to Sacramento, California where our car was parked.

Auto Transport, Weather and Truck Drivers
 
The lessons we learned on that trip helped us to be aware of how people must feel when they are shipping their car. In our auto transport business people come up against all sorts of situations that can cause stress. Their reaction to that stress can cause them to act differently than they normally would.
 
This year has been a glowing example of how weather can affect everything in our lives, including shipping your car. We must keep in mind that these men and women truck drivers put their very lives on the line to serve you and me. If the roads are not safe, we should not push them or get angry because they will not drive those big rigs on sheets of ice. Instead, we should be thankful that they are aware of the dangers to themselves, their equipment and other drivers on the road. You never know when that other driver could be you or a loved one.
 
Just today, one of our owner-operators called to let us know their truck broke down. The shop had ordered the parts but they would not be in until the next afternoon. This put the truck driver one full day behind on his schedule. When I called all of the customers and auto transport brokers to advise them of the situation, some were understanding and adjusted their schedules. Others were furious, screamed, yelled and literally threw the phone down.

Even though we try to work through all glitches like this one, we cannot make everyone happy all of the time. Even trying to reason with them through the situation did not work. Can you imagine someone telling you that she does not care that the driver cannot help that a piece of machinery broke ~ it inconvenienced her? How do you handle that? Does that even make sense?

We offered every possible alternative to ship her car nothing suited her. Finally, I advised her that if she wanted to calm down and work with us instead of against us, we could find a solution. This angry auto transport customer finally came to her senses and worked with us to find a solution good for everyone. It only took one phone call and we handled the situation.

When an angry customer attacks us as she did, I always remember how I felt in that airport with rescheduled planes due to extreme weather. Thank goodness I did not act out as she did, but I can understand why she felt the way she did. Having empathy for our angry auto transport customers makes us a better person, broker, servant and business owner now and in the future.
 
We need your help! If you have gained insight with any business tips, life lessons or plain old good stories, drop a short post to your Facebook friends; better yet, use the share buttons at the top of this page. You can bet they will enjoy and thank you, too!wink smile Weekend Trip Ends At Beach Access
 
Oh, by the way…share your thoughts below…
 
Here to Serve,
Carla J Gardiner
 
Head shot 3scarf cropped 150x150 Weekend Trip Ends At Beach AccessCarla J Gardiner is an ex-banker turned entrepreneur who built an auto transport brokerage and dispatch center from the ground up. With half a days training and little else Carla learned the business inside and out the hard way…by doing it. Her passion and purpose lies with the people she works with daily; the client, dispatcher, broker and truck driver. Her frustration within the industry has birthed a new division of her company; one to properly train, encourage and mentor other professionals in auto transport.
 
What did you think?
 
Let us know your thoughts on today's article.
 
Post your comments below.
 
remember, sharing is caring…



Are we connected on Twitter? | Come write on my Facebook Page Wall.

Angry Auto Transport Customers and How We Learned to Empathize

(good bye Bandon, County Cork, Ireland)

Angry Auto Transport Customers and How We Learned to Empathize

The preconceived ideas left behind

Our trip to Ireland, the land of my husband's family and the euphoric state we were still in was soon to end. Heading back home to our auto transport business had to take priority now. The memories we held in our hearts of the touch of our little granddaughter's hand brought a smile to our faces. The thoughts of past times and people living in the monstrous castles of Ireland burned in our memory for good. Those preconceived ideas of old castles and life in Ireland were left behind.

Those were the good memories we brought back home with us. However, the trip was not over yet. The lessons we were about to learn would be way out of our comfort zone. We would soon find out that we did not know the true meaning of being humble. Do you find lessons in the oddest places too?

Heart-wrenching sad goodbye

Our flight out of the Cork airport left early in the mist of the morning. Unlike airports in the U.S.A., there are no services available when the first flights are boarding. Leaving our family and the lovely island of Ireland was hard enough, but without coffee, it was horrible.

Final hugs and kisses were flying all over the place as all three of us tried to get to our daughter, granddaughter and son-in-law one last time before disappearing out the door to the tarmac for boarding. Tears froze on my cheeks as I tried my darnedest to hold the floodgate of tears back…it did not work. As you can imagine, the sleeve of my coat was sopping wet by the time we found our seats and buckled our belts.

As the plane took off, the landing gear lifted up into position, I caught one final glimpse of the emerald island before we disappeared into the billowing white clouds above. Just like that, our family and Ireland were behind us.

Connecting flight and customs

The route our return trip took us through was different from our trip to Ireland. Our connection was in Amsterdam, Holland instead of Paris, France. After having found our way around in Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris, we thought it would be simple on the way home. Wrong.

Amsterdam is an international airport and larger than Charles De Gaulle, or so it seemed. Wandering through the large terminals we almost got lost. All of us were hungry and looking for the food court.

At that time of the morning, McDonald's was not on our list of food choices. However, look as we might we could not find anything that remotely resembled an American breakfast. I am adventurous, but my son and husband are not. It turned out that we settled for a hot cup of coffee and a pastry or two.

Next, it was time to shop for souvenirs. Tulips are gorgeous and each dish came with its own soil just perfect to grow them indoors. Cute little wooden clogs painted white with tulips adorning the toes would serve quite nicely to prove we had at least been in the airport inside Holland.

The time came when we needed to locate our gate and get ready to board the plane for the long flight back to the U.S.A. This leg of the trip would take us through customs in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As we rechecked, our baggage and entered customs the attendant flagged me over. I had no idea why they pulled me into the clearance area; nothing had changed since we left Ireland, or so I thought.

Do you remember the little bowl of tulip bulbs I purchased at the gift shop? The soil that came with the bulbs could not leave the country. Do you wonder why it is a set if it is not allowed out of the country? I sure did. Regardless, the soil was confiscated and they allowed me to keep the bulbs and bowl. I was not happy that I had lost the perfect soil to grow my tulips. I grudgingly handed the attendant my boarding passes and entered the plane.

For the next nine hours, our flight was uneventful. Settled into our seats we leaned back, closed our eyes and slept most of the flight exhausted from our whirlwind trip to Ireland.

This leg of our trip home reminded me that we should never take anything for granted. Just because the vendor in the airport sold the package of tulip bulbs with dirt in a bowl, it did not mean the package would pass customs inspection.

The same goes for owning your own auto transport business. We can never assume or take a customers auto transport for granted. We always need to work with a servant’s heart, providing the best possible customer service we can. Even if our customer is grumpy or yells at us over the phone our response needs to be calm cool and collected. It is our job to maintain a professional attitude and demeanor when serving all customers.

Come back next time for the concluding story of our flight home and the lessons international travel, old Irish castles and a new granddaughter taught us about the auto transport business.

We need your help! Join us won't you and help spread the word about what we do here. If you have gained insight with any business tips, life lessons or plain old good stories, send a tweet to your Twitter friends; drop a short post to your Facebook friends; better yet, use the share buttons at the top of this page. You can bet they will enjoy and thank you, too!wink smile Weekend Trip Ends At Beach Access

 
Oh, by the way…share your thoughts below…
 
Here to Serve,
Carla J Gardiner
 
Head shot 3scarf cropped 150x150 Weekend Trip Ends At Beach AccessCarla J Gardiner is an ex-banker turned entrepreneur who built an auto transport brokerage and dispatch center from the ground up. With half a days training and little else Carla learned the business inside and out the hard way…by doing it. Her passion and purpose lies with the people she works with daily; the client, dispatcher, broker and truck driver. Her frustration within the industry has birthed a new division of her company; one to properly train, encourage and mentor other professionals in auto transport.
 
What did you think?
 
Let us know your thoughts on today's article.
 
Post your comments below.
 
remember, sharing is caring…



Are we connected on Twitter? | Come write on my Facebook Page Wall.

Auto Transport & Irish Roots Come Full Circle Leaving Preconceived Ideas

 

(Our family at Blarney Castle)

Auto Transport & Irish Roots Come Full Circle Leaving Preconceived Ideas

Not enough time for a final hoorah

This year the weather has been very wild here in the United States. So much so, that it reminds me of our wild, whirlwind week of vacationing in Ireland. You might wonder how so.

The weather patterns that are normal for any given area at any given time of the year have not been so this year. We could say the same for our whirlwind visit and the excursions we packed into just five days.

Our focus was our new granddaughter and family we had not seen in months. Building that bond to last who knew how long was important because I wanted the same kind of relationship with my granddaughter that I had with my grandma.

On the other hand, traveling half way across the globe we wanted to see as many sites as we could. We wanted to interact with the local people, get to know how they ate, what they drank, what they did for entertainment. We also wanted to see the countryside, castles and of course to shop.

We managed to get a little bit of all of our desires. Were we satisfied? Yes and no. Seems somewhat undecided I know.

However, our auto transport business would soon come to be like our vacation. Some days we love what we do and some days I would sell it to the lowest bidder, (wink wink). We had to learn to take the good with the bad. Most businesses and even some jobs are like that, are they not? Vacations can be the same way.

Save the best for last

The day came when we had one last chance to see two more major sites, shop for souvenirs and spend precious time with our family. Going over our list of must do's we asked our kids which sites they would chose if time only allowed one day.

Since they had visited Ireland twice prior to moving there to live awhile, they both agreed that we must visit the Blarney Castle and Muckross Manor. Both were rich in history, both happy and sad. At the end of the day, we all were happy we had agreed to bide by their recommendation and enjoy every minute of our day together.

Blarney, most famous of all
 
(Blarney Castle Tower)
 
The next adventure took us to the most famous of Irish castles, the Blarney Castle. Built some six hundred years ago it houses the famous Blarney Stone. Legend has it that once you kiss the stone you will never be at a loss for words again.
 
Did I kiss it? Are you crazy, no way was I going to put my lips to some stone that millions of others had kissed, can you say "germs"?
 
(Son-in-law, Nate kissing Blarney stone)

The grounds were the greenest green, finely groomed and manicured. Fir trees dotted the grounds and an icy stream flowed through bordering the privately owned manor house across the fields.

Have you ever watched a movie where the castle is under attack and the resident knights are pouring hot oil or tar on their attackers? In one area of the castle, you could see the small ledge where they stood. It was scary to see signs of where the hot liquid wore down the rock wall when it fell onto the unsuspecting assailants. Just thinking about the purpose of the "murder holes" in the walls gave us chills.

(Murder holes in castle walls for hot tar)

As we entered into the courtyard, we caught our first glimpse of what a real catwalk looked like. The walkway was about three feet wide, four to five feet off the green garden below and very uneven. Full of inset rock, dirt and debris it was not easy to walk on. Can you imagine running for your life? Imagine carrying a bucket of hot oil or tar while running to protect your castle from intruders.

(Catwalk of Blarney Castle)

There were many more cool places and things to see inside the castle walls. One room was a bedroom. It was evident that all one would do is sleep and dress inside as it was very small. The width of the room was about five feet, I could not even lie across it, it was too short. The length might have been about ten feet and the floor was stone, not even at that. Straw softened the floor for lying down. Can you imagine?

The largest rooms we remember were the kitchen and great hall where large dining tables presented the meals to royalty and guests. I quickly left behind the preconceived idea of princesses in lovely gowns running on high-heeled shoes looking glamorous at this castle.

Muckross House from royalty to rags

(Muckross House)

We visited several other locations before arriving at the southern most destinations. The Rock of Cashel deserves a mention. The day it snowed we headed to visit this amazing castle, but due to the inclimate weather it was closed.

The exterior of the site was breathtaking. Built on pure bedrock it was unbelievable how with the tools of the day they were able to construct a building that has withstood war, wealth, poverty and harsh weather for hundreds of years.

Also on our way to the Muckross House was the Beara Peninsula, Bantry Bay. We viewed the bay from the side of the road. Our daughter pointed out where they grow and harvest oysters on one end of the bay.

We could see across the inlet, the hillsides and the endless mountains covered by mist. The solid rock tunnel we traveled through to get to the other side of the mountain took my breath away, literally. It was scary to enter an unlit tunnel, hand carved by man with only the light at the end of the tunnel and our headlights to show the way. It was quite an experience.

Our final day's outing ended with a bang. The Muckross House, near Killarney had such a rich history. Queen Victoria was a regular guest during the Great Depression, also known as the Potato Famine. She and her entourage escaped the duties of the Royal family to vacation in seclusion at the lake.

As we entered the huge mahogany doors the first thing we saw was a sign, "NO FLASH PICTURES". Preserving the antiques and beautiful interior decorations is no small feat. We honored those instructions.

However, I sure wish I had pictures of the eight foot wide solid mahogany staircase and the lavishly decorated great rooms. I have never seen anything so exotic, rich and beautiful.

I hope that you will visit the link to Muckross House because the story of the building of the house is incredible. More incredible than that story though is the story of the families who have resided within its walls. The story of riches to poverty was very sad. The possession of land and the rewards that went with being a landowner is a lesson of managing our assets. The lesson and sadness of losing the property and status is a hard one to bear.
 
The lessons of business and wealth transcend the centuries. If only we would pay attention and learn the lessons from those that have gone before us. Surely, we would benefit not only our business, and our future generations, but ourselves too.
 
And so, it was with much heartache and tears our tour of Ireland and visit with our family drew to a close. Many lessons were learned while enjoying the whole experience of international travel.

Upon our return home we had no time to dwell on our hurting hearts or minds. Our auto transport business awaited our well trained listening ear and busy hands to serve our new clients.

All preconceived ideas about Irish castles and auto transport we left behind. Today, we enjoy sharing our travels, lessons and success with our family and friends alike. Our coaching clients enjoy the benefit of avoiding those lessons we learned early on. It is to their success and auto transport businesses that we dedicate these stories in the hope that they too will enjoy valued time with their friends and family as we have.

We need your help! Join us won't you and help spread the word about what we do here. If you have gained insight with any business tips, life lessons or plain old good stories, send a tweet to your Twitter friends; drop a short post to your Facebook friends; better yet, use the share buttons at the top of this page. You can bet they will enjoy and thank you, too!wink smile Weekend Trip Ends At Beach Access

Oh, by the way…share your thoughts below…

Here to Serve,

Carla J Gardiner

Head shot 3scarf cropped 150x150 Weekend Trip Ends At Beach AccessCarla J Gardiner is an ex-banker turned entrepreneur who built an auto transport brokerage and dispatch center from the ground up. With half a days training and little else Carla learned the business inside and out the hard way…by doing it. Her passion and purpose lies with the people she works with daily; the client, dispatcher, broker and truck driver. Her frustration within the industry has birthed a new division of her company; one to properly train, encourage and mentor other professionals in auto transport.
 
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Let us know your thoughts on today's article.
 
Post your comments below.
 
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Preconceived Ideas About Auto Transport And Irish Castles

(Kilbritain Castle)

Preconceived Ideas About Auto Transport And Irish Castles
 

Auto transport and Irish castles have something in common

Our first night in Ireland was almost magical. So many thoughts drifted through my head I thought it was going to explode. Our new granddaughter had stolen our hearts; we were half way around the world in a foreign country…the land of my husband's family. Our new auto transport business was waiting at home. Upon our return we would launch the business. Who could forget about that adventure?

Looking back in retrospect, my preconceived ideas about both were very immature. It is hard to believe that I am admitting it, but the truth is the truth after all. I would later discover that owning your own business, even an auto transport business, is hard work. Yes, the rewards are incredible, like being able to travel to see our family anytime we wanted to. It does not mean that I could sleep in dragging into the office whenever I felt like it. Customers and owner-operators alike depended on me to serve their needs.

The Irish castles were nothing like the preconceived idea I had in my head. The Travel and History channels cannot even come close to providing the feeling of actually being near or in one of those ancient monumental castles.

All I know is the lessons I have learned from traveling to foreign destinations to building our auto transport business have been the most rewarding lessons I have ever had. What lessons have you experienced to share with others?

Let the tour begin…

Our first day touring the local area was incredible. The private Kilbritain Castle above set back off the lane surrounded by trees and wide-open, green fields. I could envision a young girl, in a warm woolen dress sitting on a stool, painting a picture of the castle and surrounding area just like in the movies. It was the most breathtaking site we had ever seen and at that moment, all preconceived ideas of castles flew right out the window.

The small minivan barely held all of us with Maebh's car seat. Our son, Daniel crawled in the very back, which was uncomfortable and cramped. Being together was the only reason we all put up with being like sardines in a can. Who wants to travel around the world only to take separate cars to tour the area? To top off the small van, the roads were very narrow, windy and bumpy. We concluded though, that this all added to the adventure of the backcountry of Ireland.

Next came the Timoleague Abby set right on the bay. The ruins were quite spectacular and allowed our imaginations to run wild. The inside of the abbey, ruined long ago by attacking marauders had burned. The second floor was missing but you could get the sense of it from the protruding leftover beams above the main floor.

(Timoleague Abbey)

The residents of the abbey must have been small in stature as the doorways were short. All of us had to duck to enter the interior rooms. We could only imagine what it must have been like back in the day of the active community.

Weather gets in the way of touring

Taking our time touring the various castles, manors and communities of southern Ireland was very relaxing. Due to the narrow roadways and rural nature of the landscape, the average speed limits were 50 KM (approximately 31 MPH) although it seemed like we were flying.

Would you know that a once in a lifetime trip would include a once in a century snowstorm. That is right, it rarely snows in Ireland yet we woke to a beautiful blanket of white snow on our third day in the country.

We enjoyed the morning with our family relaxing and sipping hot Barry's black tea with milk and biscuits. At first, I thought my daughter was crazy for putting milk in her tea, and then she told me to try it. She was right it was quite good. The milk took the bite off the rich tea and it seemed smoother. The biscuits were cookies called "Digestives" which fit nicely with our vitamin capletWhen we returned home, we missed them so we shopped and found them at the local "World Market".

The weather cleared and the snow melted so we all piled in the van and headed for our next destination ~ Cahir Castle. This castle had been renovated somewhat. Huge chains on a manual wheel raised the gates. No wonder men in those days were strong; it appeared it would have taken a team of horses to raise that solid steel-bar gate!

 

(Cahir Castle)

The solid rock walls towered over the inner courtyard. The recently groomed gardens were a stark contrast to the gray stones lining the walls. From the deep, dark dungeon to the guard towers, the reality of darker times for the inhabitants of Ireland came to life. From the crests adorning the great hall walls to the six-foot swords it did not appear that "those good old days" were so great.

As for the spiral stairwells in the fairy tales, well let us just say you will not find any princess with a sweeping gown running up or down one. Each step was no more than maybe five inches deep, barely wide enough to allow the balls of our feet to lift us to the next step.

Thankfully, none of us was prone to being claustrophobic. The walls rose straight up and inside were no more than three feet wide. This stairwell had no handrails (made me wonder if there were such things back then) and was no place to be if you had vertigo or had a fear of heights.

As our tour of the castles ended that day, we talked about the differences on the way home. Each castle represented the uniqueness of its owner and its resident people. Inside those stonewalls was a community of people living their lives the best they knew how at that time. They protected the castle and each other to the death.
 
In business, we have communities, too. Within those communities, we have a hierarchy just like inside the castle communities. We protect each other because we all depend on each other to do our jobs.
 
In auto transport, we depend on the customer who ships their car, the owner-operator who transports the car and on other brokers to do their job, too. When each sector of the community or business does their part the right way, the whole community prospers.
 
Today is no different from some six hundred years ago in Ireland. We all need each other to live healthy, happy prosperous lives. Together we can make a change that will allow all of us to build profitable auto transport businesses that serve the customer, truck driver and broker alike.
 
We need your help! Join us won't you and help spread the word about what we do here. If you have gained insight with any business tips, life lessons or plain old good stories, send a tweet to your Twitter friends; drop a short post to your Facebook friends; better yet, use the share buttons at the top of this page. You can bet they will enjoy and thank you, too!wink smile Weekend Trip Ends At Beach Access

Oh, by the way…share your thoughts below…

Here to Serve,

Carla J Gardiner

Head shot 3scarf cropped 150x150 Weekend Trip Ends At Beach AccessCarla J Gardiner is an ex-banker turned entrepreneur who built an auto transport brokerage and dispatch center from the ground up. With half a days training and little else Carla learned the business inside and out the hard way…by doing it. Her passion and purpose lies with the people she works with daily; the client, dispatcher, broker and truck driver. Her frustration within the industry has birthed a new division of her company; one to properly train, encourage and mentor other professionals in auto transport.
 
What did you think?
 
Let us know your thoughts on today's article.
 
Post your comments below.
 
remember, sharing is caring…



Are we connected on Twitter? | Come write on my Facebook Page Wall.